Jared Kushner defends Trump against racism allegations but dodges questions on Trump's promotion of the birther conspiracy

Screenshot/Axios/HBOSenior White House advisor Jared Kushner talks Trump, refugees, Palestinians, and his controversial relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in an interview with Axios on HBO.
  • Senior White House advisor Jared Kushner has defended President Donald Trump against allegations of racism by members of the Democratic Party, but declined to comment on whether Trump’s promotion of the birther conspiracy was racist.
  • The birther conspiracy catapulted Trump into the political spotlight some years ago, in which he argued that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and waged a media campaign against him. Trump eventually reversed his claims against Obama in 2016 .
  • In an interview with “Axios on HBO” which aired Sunday evening, Kushner said Trump was “absolutely not” a racist, but declined to comment on his promotion of birtherism.

Senior White House advisor Jared Kushner has defended President Donald Trump against allegations of racism by members of the Democratic Party, but declined to comment on whether Trump’s promotion of the birther conspiracy was racist.

Kushner made comments about Trump in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” which aired Sunday night.

In the interview, Kushner pushed back against allegations of racism against the president, including recent comments made by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, where the congresswoman said she had “no question” that Trump was a racist.

“Have you ever seen him [Trump] say or do anything that you would describe as racist or bigoted?” host Jonathan Swan asked.

“No, absolutely not,” Kushner responded. “You can’t not be a racist for 69 years and then run for president and be a racist.”

Kushner added that Democratic accusations of racism against Trump are a “disservice” to Americans who suffer “real racism.”

Still, Kushner dodged questions on Trump’s promotion of the birther conspiracy that catapulted him into the political spotlight some years ago in which he publicly disputed that former President Barack Obama was born in the US. Trump eventually reversed his claims against Obama in 2016.

“I wasn’t really involved in that,” Kushner said, despite repeated questioning by Swan on whether Trump’s birtherism claims were racist.

High-profile Democratic Party members, including Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders,Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris, have made allegations of racism against Trump in recent months as the 2020 election draws nearer. Criticism of the president has grown louder since Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and confidant, labelled the president a “racist” and a “conman” during his congressional testimony in February.

Read more:He is a racist. He is a conman.’ Michael Cohen’s most explosive claims about Trump in his blockbuster hearing

Recent polls suggest that many Americans feel race relations have gotten worse under the Trump administration, and say it has also become more common for people to express racist views.

Trump has repeatedly denied claims of racism in his policies and speech, and told reporters last year that he was the “least racist person” they had ever interviewed in response to questioning on allegations that he made disparaging comments about African countries and Haiti during a White House meeting.

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